2011 Artists

Aerial Dance Chicago (Chicago, IL) was founded in 1999 with a vision of taking dancers into flight. Incorporating apparatus such as suspended fabrics, bungee cords, hoops and ropes, the company delves into the expressive potential of multi-dimensional space, transcending assumed limits of dance. In 2014, ADC opened Chicago’s first center dedicated to the fine art of aerial dance, offering cutting-edge curriculum designed to progressively lead students through this challenging dance form. As the company moves forward, creating, performing, teaching and stretching the boundaries of dance, it reaches over 10,000 people annually and continues to build a dedicated following. Visit us at www.aerialdancechicago.org and follow us on Instagram @aerialdancechicago.

Caitlin Haywood (Chicago, IL) originally from Indianapolis, graduated from the Point Park Conservatory. She made her professional dance and choreographic debuts with PillowProject, a multi-media dance company (Pittsburgh, PA). Caitlin works to present dance which focuses on human interaction, whether that is humorous day to day or thought-provoking. She strives to commission composers, visual artists, and designers to collaborate on new works. She has worked with local artistis such as Chicago Freelance Dance, Jan Bartoszek for Hedwig Dances 25th Anniversary, On Tap Chicago, and Megan Rhyme for Chicago Fringe. Most recently, her choreography was presented at Lake.Eden.Arts.Festival (Asheville, NC).

Cara Hagan (Greensboro, NC) is a dance artist whose work has been described as multi-cultural, multi-dimensional and full of exuberance. She enjoys collaborating with artists of other genres to make intimate performance experiences, dance films and community-oriented works. Since graduation from the UNC Shcool of the Arts in 2005, Ms. Hagan's work has been seen on stage, on film, and in educational settings across the USA and abroad. In recent years, Cara has had the pleasure of conducting artists residencies at community centers like the Enrichment Center of Winston-Salem, academic institutions such as Salem College and NC State University, and at private dance programs, such as the NC State Ballet. In addition, she has received recognition for her work through a 2009 NC Dance Alliance Fellowship Award, a 2010 Regional Artists Grant from the Forsyth County Arts Council and two Best Short Film Awards from the Indie Grits Film Festival and the Foursite Film Festival for her short dance film "Two Downtown." In 2011, she was awarded a Graduate Scholar Award from the 6th Annual Arts in Society Conference in Berlin, where she gave a workshop entitled "How Did I Get Here: An Exploration of the Web of Memory, Journey and Arrival." Cara is on faculty at High Point University, where she is implementing the curriculum for a new Dance Minor program under the umbrella of the Department of Theater.

Chris Johnson (Beloit, WI) artistic director of Chelonia Dance and dance professor at Beloit College has been selected to present work for WDA, NDEO, ACDFA, at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, The Ruth Page Center for the Arts - Chicago, The Union Theater - Madison, Wisc., and in Sacramento. She was awarded First Place for Choreography in the New Prague Dance Festival 2013 and won the Laureate and Grand Prix at the Seventh International Competition: Festival of Choreographic Collectives in Moscow. Her dance, Wreath of Memories was performed by special invitation at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum - Washington, D.C.

COUNTERPOINTE (San Francisco, CA) Graduating from Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School and Indiana University, Erica Rose Jeffrey teaches, choreographs and performs in the Bay area. She has performed with Ballet Internationale, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Underground Arts Connection and the Chicago Lyric Opera. Since moving to San Francisco she has worked with a variety of groups such as the Marin Theater Company, American Musical Theater of San Jose, Robert Moses "Drafts", Moving Arts Dance, and has toured to China as part of a cultural exchange for the Olympics. Her work has appeared in Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, Collaborate! Dance and Music, Women on the Way Festival, COUNTERPOINTE's annual "Works in Motion," IndyConvergence and the Monterey Choreographer's Festival. Erica also teaches for the San Francisco Ballet Dance in Schools and Communities program in public schools, runs the Let's All Dance! Outreach program in Novato and directs the dance company COUNTERPOINTE. COUNTERPOINTE was recently selected to produce and choreograph for the awards ceremony for the American Geophysics Convention. Following a lifelong interest, Erica created and continues to expand the dance and conflict resolution education program Moving Toward Peace. New projects for 2011 include the co-founding Marin Dance Theatre's Parkinson's Dance Project, an affiliate of Mark Morris' highly regarded Dance for Parkinson's Disease program.

Dorcas Roman Dance Theater (Los Angeles, CA) Dorcas Román is a dancer, choreographer and actress native to Puerto Rico and the artistic director of DRDT. She received a BA in theater from the UPR and an MFA in choreography from UCLA Dance Department. Roman and DRDT have been active in dance and theater for over 18 years around United States and abroad. The company presented work in Spain this summer and it will be performing in festivals in; Texas, Chicago, New York and California this Fall. Dorcas Roman is currently teaching dance at CSULB where she teaches since 2003. http://www.drdt.org/drdt/DRDT_Home.html

Dori Santarsiere (Chicago, IL) started training in all forms of dance at the age of eight with Joan Golden in her small desert community in California. At age eleven she began to study at Inland Pacific Ballet of Montclair, California. Under the direction of Victoria Koenig, she benefited from master teachers Janek Schergen, Maria Veigh and Rebecca Wright. Dori has also studied on scholarship with the Joffrey Ballety, Ballet Austin and Lou Conte Dance Center. Dori performed professional with the Houston Ballet, Anaheim Ballet and works by Robert Battle, Katarzyna Skarpetowska and Harrison McEldowney as well as the opportunity to work with choreographers Alex Ketley and Azure Barton. In 2004 she was accepted into Harrington College of Design where she graduated with high honors in August 2006 with a BFA in Interior Design and a minor in Architecture. Dori joined Thodos Dance Chicago in 2007 taking full advantage of their three-fold mission, expanding her resume to include several choreographic credits and working as a master teacher in high school and college dance workshops around the country. In addition to teaching all forms of dance, Dori is a certified Pilates Instructor teaching at several gyms and private studios around Chicago. As one of the fresh new faces of the Chicago choreographic scene, her works have been described as "elegant", "sensual", "dynamic and challenging." Dori was featured in Dance Chicago 2009 as the 'Extended Views' choreographer and was recently recognized by Dance Magazine as one of the Active Women Choreographers. In one of her more recent independent projects, she was chosen by world renowned DJ and artist Jeff Mills to portray on film the 'Aero-Futurist Dancer' in his latest installation piece Critical Arrangements. Commissioned by the Pompidou Center in Paris, the exhibition toured Paris and Rome before moving to the Tate Gallery in 2010. Dori is trained in aerial dance and is currently a founding company member of Chicago Repertory Ballet.

Elements Contemporary Ballet (Chicago, IL) is the first and only contemporary ballet company based in Chicago. Combining the beauty of classical technique with contemporary style and verve, Elements Contemporary Ballet advances and explores ballet through the marriage of innovative concepts and classical art. Founded in 2005 by Artistic Director Mike Gosney, the company trains and develops its work using the four elements; fire, earth, air, and water; to each represent a major facet of dance; expression, physicality, focus, and freedom. Elements now produces annual concerts in downtown Chicago, performs in local showcases and dance festivals, presents free lecture demonstrations to the public, and provides community outreach through Chicago's Urban Gateways program. www.elementscontemporaryballet.com

Emma Draves (Chicago, IL) is a performer, choreographer, and teacher with a boundless interest in searching out what she does not yet understand. After obtaining Dance and Sociology/Anthropology degrees from Denison University, Emma lived for a short while in New York City – studying with Jacklyn Villamil and Oliver Steele and working as Archivist for the fabulous Ballets Trockadero. After a year, Draves moved to Chicago where she has been working ever since. Emma has danced with a variety of artists including Dwight Rhoden/Desmond Richardson, Sean Curran, Thodos/New Dances, and Hedwig Dances. She performed in Lookingglass Theatre's production of Sita Ram, and in Victory Gardens' production of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity. Emma was honored to collaborate with acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma & the Silk Road Orchestra to celebrate the opening of Chicago's exquisite Millenium Park. Emma is entering her sixth year with Mordine & Company Dance Theatre and has recently been named Assistant Artistic Director. She also is continuing into her seventh year with Natya Dance Theatre with whom she studies and performs Bharata Natyam (classical South Indian dance). And, her eighth year as Head Instructor at the Dance Center of La Grange. Emma's recent choreographic works have included Duel With An Orchid as a Links Hall LinkUp Resident and Duet As One under the Chicago Cultural Center's DanceBridge program. In June, Emma will be presenting the As I, We project as a Chicago Dancemaker's Forum Greenhouse Grant recipient. Excerpts of these works can be seen on Emma's webite at: https://sites.google.com/site/emmadravesdancer/

Fayth Caruso Company (Chicago, IL) Fayth Caruso's choreography has been seen at Lincoln Center Institute, concerts, off-broadway productions, and festivals ranging from the Midtown International Theater Festival to White Wave Dance Festival. More commercially Ms. Caruso has choreographed or performed work for XL Magazine (Italy), 944 Magazine (California), Le Poisson Rouge, Last Ditch Picture Company, Catapult Entertainment, and Lululemon Athletica. Other performances include music videos for the Grammy nominated band MGMT and Sondre Lerche. Fayth also had the pleasure of working with members of Pilobolus Dance Theater on a photo shoot with photographer John Kane and a Bridgestone corporate event. Most recently Ms. Caruso's work has been seen in New York City at Greenspace Festival this past April. www.faythcaruso.com

Irene Whittaker-Cumming (Toronto, ON) is a Toronto-based choreographer, dancer, writer and photographer. Her professional dance training was undertaken predominantly at Ryerson Theatre Dance Program under the remarkable leadership of Nadia Potts, with supplementary training at York University and the Tisch School for the Arts at New York University. She has performed at and choreographed for festivals throughout North America, and in Toronto at Theatre Passe Muraille, Dancemakers Centre for Creation, Ryerson Theatre, Isabel Bader Theatre, the Junction Arts Festival, the Enwave Theatre and The Winchester Street Theatre. She was a co-creator and co-choreographer of Being Human Dance from 2009 to 2010.

Irene has been an educator in Kenya, Uganda, and Canada, and has used dance as a tool for HIV/AIDS education in Bénin in West Africa. She has been published as a writer, has edited dance publications, screenplays and novels, and as a photographer has had her work presented in gallery and print. She was a recipient of the Kenny Pearl Award for Choreography in 2008, and was interviewed on Evi-Dance Radio in autumn 2010. In summer 2011 she will be training at Impulstanz in Vienna, Austria, and upon return to Canada will be beginning creation of a full-length dance work to be performed in 2012.

Irene’s artistic purpose is to tell beautiful, genuine stories. Through various creative languages she aims to capture bittersweet human moments in a way that is authentic and stirring. She endeavors to express the timelessness, the solitude, lonesomeness, love, fire, fight, compassion, music and beauty that resides within the human creature. Irene intends on developing her passion for using creativity as a means of positive change.

Located in Jacksonville, Florida, Jacksonville Dance Theatre is a contemporary dance and performance company dedicated to creating and promoting excellence in the field of professional dance on local, national, and international stages. JDT believes in acknowledging, respecting, and inspiring members' efforts to reach personal and artistic goals in an environment that fosters artistic inquiry, project based research, creative process, and collaboration.

Founder and choreographer of Jaxon Movement Arts a project based company that works off of Jacqueline as an independent choreographer producing work in both New York City and Chicago. Jacqueline holds a B.F.A. in Dance from The University of Iowa. A native to the City of Chicago, Ms. Stewart has performed for such companies as Thodos Dance Chicago, The Seldoms and various other artists. Stewart has choreographed for Thodos New Dances, Open House Dance Chicago, Dance Chance Chicago, Chicago Takes Off, Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival and Duets for my Valentine. In 2010, Stewart premiered her work “It’s Not Enough to Close Your Eyes for The Open Space Dance Project that became the Grand Prize Winner of The A.W.A.R.D. Show! 2010: Chicago granted by The Joyce Theatre Foundation of New York. Ms. Stewart has recently showcased her work and performed at the Joyce Soho, Jennifer Muller The Works, Reverb Dance, The Ailey Citi Group Theatre, and The Wild Project New York. She has produced three concerts in collaboration with other Chicago dance makers including Jessica Miller Tomlinson. Winifred Haun and Dancers and Chicago Repertory Ballet have most recently commissioned Jacqueline’s work.

Karen Schupp (Tempe, AZ) began dancing at the age of four at a local dance studio in Niagara Falls, NY. During her childhood, Karen extensively studied tap, jazz and ballet and had the opportunity to work with legendary dancers such as Beverly Fletcher, Gemsy DeLap and artists from the Stutgartt Ballet Company. Karen received a BA in Dance Performance and Education from SUNY at Buffalo (UB), where she was a Performing and Creative Arts Honors Scholar. During her last semester at UB, Karen was a student in the Alvin Ailey American Dance Cetner's USIS program. Karen continued her dance training as a scholarship student at both Steps on Broadway and Broadway Dance Center. After leaving New York, Karen pursued her MFA at Arizona State University, where she was a Teaching Assistant, scholarship student and was named the Outstanding Graduate Student by the Department of Dance upon graduation.

Professionally, Karen has received recognition as a performer, choreographer, educator and scholar. Her own creative work ranges from self-portraits to collaborative and site-specific group works that emphasize a high sense of craft, intuitive logic and athleticism. Her work has been performed regionally in venues such as the Experimental Arts Festival, Rising (Brooklyn, NY), and the Big Range Dance Festival (Houston, TX), as well as in India at the Attakkalari India Biennial. Her work Earth Measure was selected for the American College Dance Festival's National Gala in 2008. Karen has performed with choreographers and companies including Victoria Marks, Mary Fitzgerald, Fred Darsow, and A Ludwig Dance Theater. Her performance in Marks' Against Ending was recognized with a Horton Award for Outstanding Performance. She is a 2010 Artist Project Grant recipient, an award funded through the NEA and the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Kristina Isabelle (Chicago, IL) originally from Columbus, OH, is the artistic director of Kristina Isabelle Dance Company and co-director of HighJinks Productions. Isabelle earned her BFA in dance from The Juilliard School and an MFA in dance and choreography from The Ohio State University. She has performed with Bebe Miller, Stephen Petronio, Jordan Fuchs, and Earth Circus Productions.

Her choreography has been produced in Chicago, Columbus, New York, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Fort Worth, England, Ireland and Poland at the Bytom International Dance Festival. She has been a finalist in the BalletMet choreographers project in 2004, 2006 and 2008. She has been selected as one of the Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artists for 2012.

She has served as a guest artist and adjunct professor for The Ohio State University, Kenyon College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wittenburg University, Alfred University in New York, and The College of Lake County in Illinois. She is currently teaching at Joffrey and an After School Matters program at Steinmetz High School

Laura Chiaramonte (Chicago, IL) has been performing and producing work professionally for the past ten years and has had the opportunity towork with celebrated companies and artists such as: Lynn Dally, Estebon Donoso, Pat Graney, Jyl Farenkamp, Andrew Harwood, Carleen Healy, Gina Jacobs, Rebecca Nettl-Fiol, Kate Monson, Jennifer Monson, Casey Pennel, Kirstie Simson, DanceLoop Chicago, Thread Meddle Outfit, Total Theater, Zephyr Dance, and Mad Shak Dance Company. Laura was fortunate to perform, teach workshops in dance, and present work in Bali, Cambodia, Ecuador, Italy, and Taiwan, and collaborated with celebrated baritone Nathan Gunn and his wife, pianist Julie Gunn, on an original music recital at Carnegie Hall. In 2009, Laura had the great opportunity to perform and teach contact improvisation with world-renowned contact teacher and performer Kirstie Simson in Taiwan and Cambodia. Laura was hired by Warner Bros as head choreographer for rock band Foxy Shazam's music video "Unstoppable" in the summer of 2010. Laura is also co-founder and director of Creative Arts Melting Pot, a non-profit performing arts company based in Chicago.

Sonia Warfel received her BFA in dance from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts in 1994 and her MFA in Dance in 2011 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she has been teaching dance as a visiting lecturer for six years. Since her debut alongside venerable crooner Tony Bennett in his comeback MTV music video, “Steppin’ Out”, she has performed her own choreography throughout the US, France, Italy, Poland, and The Czech Republic and produced her own shows in a wide array of venues from traditional theatrical spaces to night-clubs to the streets of Europe. In April of 2008, she collaborated with world renowned baritone Nathan Gunn and his wife, pianist Julie Gunn, and choreographer/video designer Laura Chiaramonte on a sold-out recital at Carnegie Hall which The New York Times hailed as “…involving, courageous, and touching.” Ms. Warfel is currently the Program Coordinator for the After School Arts Profram (ASAP) at the Center for Education in Small Urban Communities, which provides free, high-quality, diverse arts education to public school students in Champaign County while conducting research on the effect of these programs on student engagement and achievement. She is an avid arts advocate and fundraiser, performer, choreographer, teacher, wife, and mother.

Marquez Dance Project (Cleveland, OH) explores life’s moments through an artistic scope. The objective behind this contemporary dance company is to recapture moments that are compelling to the human spirit in a theatrical and often surreal interpretation. In developing choreography, it is essential to explore beyond the realm of dance for inspiration. Collaboration from other artistic genres facilitates in creating works that are meaningful and honest.

Artistic Director Jennifer Sandoval is a graduate of Kent State University where she earned a BFA in performance and composition. She has been blessed with the opportunity to work with a number of dance companies and choreographers including: Nicole Gifford Dance, Michael Bratt, Melissa Mallinson, MorrisonDance, TJ & Company Dance Theatre, SMARTdance, Tyego Dance Project, Perceptual Motion, Inc., and Mam Luft Dance. Festivals include: International American Choreographers Showcase, Dance Chicago, Around the Coyote, Full Circle, Ohio Dance Festival, Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival, and Big Box through Cleveland Public Theatre. Currenly she is on faculty at Studio 82, Studio M and is adjunct faculty at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, OH. www.marquezdanceproject.com

Nicole Gifford Dance (Chicago, IL) was founded in 2005 by Artistic Director Nicole Gifford. Nicole's work is inspired by movement and stillness found in nature and the moments that leave an impression on our human nature. Relying on the senses; reflecting the shapes and feelings experienced when we are most present and honest with ourselves. Working closely with husband Jim Gifford, Nicole strives to layer her choreographic expression with live music, specifically jazz-fusion for its improvisational element. Her goal is to create a richer understanding for the audience and a spontaneous experience on and off the stage. Her work has been presented at many festivals in Chicago including Around the Coyote, Dance Chicago, Full Circle, Rebound, and World Dance Night at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Nicole has co-produced several dance concerts since 2005 at Ruth Page, The Galaxie and Hamlin Park Field House with Chicago artists Marquez Dance Project, Jay-Son Dance Company and Core Project. She recently self-produced NGD’s first full length concert, “MILES ELECTRIC”, which was performed entirely to live music from Miles Davis' Electric Period. Nicole was the recipient of a 2006 CAAP grant for choreography from the Illinois Arts Council as well as a recipient of the Dance Bridge Summer 2009 residency through the Chicago Cultural Center Department of Cultural Affairs.

www.nicolegifford.com

ology dance (Chicago, IL) presents exploratory movement works that study and celebrate life experience through the creative process. Drawing inspiration from the natural world, philosophy, psychology and more, artistic director Melissa Mallinson has presented her choreography in concerts, alternative venues and more than a dozen festivals in Chicago, throughout the Midwest and in Scotland. Melissa graduated summa cum laude from the University of Michigan, training under esteemed artists Peter Sparling, Robin Wilson, Judy Rice and more. As a soloist with the Kalamazoo Ballet, she danced leading and principal roles in The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Coppelia and premiered the lead female role of Mina in an original production of Dracula choreographed by August Tye. She also performed with Ann Arbor Dance Works under the mentorship of Gay Delanghe, Khecari Dance Theater, TJ&Co, Perceptual Motion Dance, Marquez Dance Project, Nicole Gifford Dance, and many independent artists throughout the MidWest. In 1992 she became the youngest choreographer to date to have work performed in the Regional Dance America/MidStates Regional Ballet Association Festival in Fargo, ND. Melissa's choreography has been produced by the Edinburgh International Festival Fringe, the National Congress of Carillonneurs 2001 conference, Around the Coyote, Dance Chicago, The Field- Chicago, and the Old Town School of Folk Music. She thanks Kris for his boundless support. www.ologydance.com

Paufve Dance (Oakland, CA) is a contemporary dance company based in Oakland, California, founded as a vehicle to support the continued creation of innovative work and to further explore avenues for movement research, live performance and community outreach. Director Randee Paufve’s work is based in the belief that dance is a language which can capture, describe, and illuminate every aspect of the human condition, and her research and choreography examines artifice, authenticity and objectivity in our bodies. Paufve's vision reflects a deep commitment to dancing, and to helping move dance forward into the 21st century, as a viable, critical and expansive means of expression. For each project, she gathers a diverse core of dancers to explore the complex terrain of human relationships, creating intimate live performance works that wed powerful movement with subtle detail, connecting and sharing with our audiences the deep feeling and thinking states that emerge from complex kinesthetic expression. Much of the work is constructed and performed in non-theatrical sites, exploring the effects of geography on relationships, sexuality, experiences of alienation and belonging. Paufve Dance has performed nationally and presented events in bars, barns, churches, studios, theaters, meadows, and several times on a roving 4’x4’ platform.

Founded in July 2008 and based in Chicago, Illinois, Red Clay Dance is a professional touring company that creates and performs a diverse repertoire of contemporary dance infused with the vibrant dance and culture of the African Diaspora. Having gained a wealth of experience through her dance studies at Columbia College Chicago (BFA, 2002) and New York University (MFA, 2007) along with internationally acclaimed choreographers and teachers Gus Solomons, Ronald K. Brown, Jawole Zollar and Germaine Acogny, founder Vershawn Sanders was encouraged to build and develop projects that support collaborations between African and African American dance makers.

Since its inception, Red Clay Dance has created and produced original works that have appeared in arts festivals around the world such as RAD Fest (2012) Dance Chicago (2011), Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival (2011), Dance Transmissions Festival/Uganda (2010), A.W.A.R.D.S Show/Joyce Soho NYC (2009), The Yard/Martha’s Vineyard (2007), L’Ecole Des Sables/Senegal (2008) and Looptopia Festival Chicago (2008). The company has also self-produced two concerts, “Celebrating Our Legacy” (2012) and “New Beginnings” (2011) both on Chicago’s South Side.

The company has received grant support from the MidAtlantic Arts Foundation-USArtists International, Harlem Stage NYC, Cliff Dwellers Foundation, and the Chicago Community Trust Young Leaders Fund.
Our 2013-2014 5th Anniversary season is supported by grants from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, and the MetLife New Stages for Dance Initiative.

Red Clay Dance Company is in residency at Fuller Park through the Chicago Park District's Arts Partners in Residency Program, which unites artists and communities in Chicago's parks.

RE|Dance Group (Chicago, IL) Creative partners, Lucy Riner and Michael Estanich, established RE|Dance Group in 2009 as a means to explore long distance collaborations and present of dance theatre works that examine the many facets of human relationships. Executive Director, Lucy Riner, is a Chicago based dance artist and teacher. Artistic Director, Michael Estanich, lives in Stevens Point at the University of Wisconsin as an associate professor of dance. Their creative process embodies rich emotional content and dramatic imagery through the layering of music, text and sculpture. They seek to establish physical memories that enrich their dancing and the relationships created in their works.

Roberta Wong (Indianapolis, IN) Two-time Creative Renewal fellow (Arts Council of Indianapolis) and Indiana Arts Commission grant recipient Roberta Wong enjoys teaching at Butler University, Dance for Parkinsons Indianapolis, Indiana University, Indianapolis Ballet Theatre and Dance Kaleidoscope. Additional teaching has included Anderson University, Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theater Summer Conservatory and many Indianapolis area studios, as well as the Indiana Dance Festival, Lafayette Ballet and Mid-States Regional Dance Festival. Highlights of choreography include Anderson University's "Candles and Carols," the Emily Hunt Benefit for Spinal Cord Research and the Indy Convergence, from where her work has been further presented at the Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival. She holds a biology degree from Butler University.

Sharon Mansur (Takoma Park, MD) is an experimental multi-media movement artist and her work has been seen in theaters, galleries, parks, street corners, apartments, train stations, empty storefronts, fields, rivers and other venues throughout the East Coast, Minnesota, California and abroad. Improvisation as a performance form is a particular focus as well as the melding of visual and visceral landscapes while examining aspects of identity.

Since 2002 Sharon has directed the performance project mansurdance, with several near and far flung movement, sound, light and visual art collaborators. mansurdance is committed to contemporary dance, improvisation and experimental performance forms, such as performance/art installations and live art, in traditional, alternative and site-specific venues. She has also been fortunate enough to perform in the work of BodyCartography, Jess Curtis/Stephanie Maher, David Dorfman, David Rousseve, and Sara Rudner, and dance with Daniel Burkholder, Clare Byrne and Cyrus Khambatta and other adventurous artistic types.

Her work has been supported by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council and The Bossak-Heilbron Charitable Foundation among others. In 2010 Sharon recieved a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award for solo dance performance, and in 2008 she received a University of Maryland Creative and Performing Arts Award. Originally from Boston, MA, she joined the dance faculty at the University of Maryland in 2008. Her current practices include Contact Improvisation, Laban Movement Analysis, visual arts, yoga and reiki.

(Chicago, IL) From the unrelenting and creative mind of Executive Artistic Director Kyle Vincent Terry comes TheMASSIVE--a network of builders, creators, and performers seeking to constantly challenge themselves in order to challenge what is possible in art. Through contemporary performance techniques and creative marketing TheMASSIVE strives to throw the best party possible whether in the theatre or at the club. Utilizing cutting edge performance, and creating environments that inspire community, TheMASSIVE brings a new approach to theatre that wants to provide the most theatrical bang for your buck. www.the-massive.com